Good morning, and welcome to Summit Up, the worlds only daily column that has a sore butt, tired legs, flat tires, snapped spokes and broken chains but the satisfaction of having competed in the Summit Mountain Challenge. Its time to give a well-earned shout-out to Jeff Westcott for conducting another terrific mountain-bike race series, which welcomes all abilties, ranging this year from tykes who only recently lost their training wheels to a former world champion. Filip Meirhaeghe of Belgium he of four rainbow-striped jerseys signifying the world champion and an Olympic medal, to boot returned to the race series for the opener on the Frisco Peninsula in June, raising the pride of the local competitors and setting the competitive tone.But the real treat each race is to see the kids giving it all theyve got and then beaming when they get to stand atop the podium with some newly earned bling.Stay up there, Westcott told more than one set of fidgeting juniors on the podium. Make sure everyone has a chance to get a photo.While the front end of the adult peloton typically includes many of the regions best riders, the sheer number of lower divisions mean that everyone has a chance at winning and at the least will be involved in a pitched battle that feels just like, well, racing.Despite that, the camaraderie and espirit de corps is remarkable: Its not unusual for arch-rivals to lend each other tools or tubes during the race, no less! or to help dust each other off after tumbles. Westy also arranges great prizes, even if the joke among the racers is that first place in many stages earns a 12-pack of Sobe energy drink, and second place gets … TWO 12-packs! (For the overall series winners, Westcott arranged spiffy framed photos of each racer in action and somehow hooked up a couple of free custom-built frames to give away.) For those mountain bikers who never have tried racing or perhaps are intimidated, its just a matter of trying it once to find out how much fun it is to be a big kid again. One bit of advice to Westy: To make next years series even more alluring, we have two words: Lance Armstrong. Heck, if hes planning to compete in the Leadville 100 mountain-bike race again next year, we might as well get him over here for a training ride, dont you think? Michael Wales of Texas, commenting on our riff Wednesday on obscure Olympic sports, writes: Swimming, gymnastics, beach volleyball, and synchronized diving — you mean there’s more? Yeah, we know what you mean — NBC doesnt really go out of its way to show us the dramatic showdowns in archery and badminton these days.Speaking of which, hey, whatever happened to decathlon? Not since Bruce Jenners Feet dont fail me now T-shirt do we recall the television coverage of the Games showcasing the person known as the worlds greatest athlete.Oh, and one more thing:Dawn Banas writes: We recently accepted a donation at the Animal Rescue of the Rockies thrift store For Pets Sake in Breckenridge and found not one, but two wedding video tapes. The first one says Dana & Mike 2/18/2000. The second one says Margaret and Dennis-Newport Rhode Island. If these werent meant to be donated, please contact Dawn at (970) 453-6765, and Ill get them back to you.Its Friday, and were smearing bag balm on places you dont want to know about. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to compare battle scars.
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